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Armored Underworld (fanfiction) pt 8 of 41

Batgirl changes into her Barbara Gordon identity to investigate the Russians and the mystery woman she encountered earlier. She’s greeted by Alfred and, later, the Batman himself.

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“You’re the best, Alfred,” Barbara said. She released him, caught the surprise in his usually stoic demeanor.

Barbara remembered that in the many years Alfred Pennyworth had worked with Batman, he wasn’t used to shows of affection. Probably a good thing she was on the team; let a bit of emotion into an otherwise boring boys club.

Alfred adjusted his already impeccably positioned tie to recompose himself. “If you would be so kind as to remind Master Bruce of that. And to eat something at least every third night out.”

Barbara removed the tray’s silver dome and took in the glorious sight of the chicken tenders. The sight reminded her how hungry she’d gotten. Fighting does that to a vigilante.

Forgoing the nearby fork, she grabbed a tender, dipped it in the dish of sauce and chomped away.

“Will you require anything else this evening?” Alfred asked.

Barbara chewed quickly, swallowing in a gulp. “Food-wise, no, thanks.”

Alfred looked at the Batcomputer’s main screen. “Good hunting this evening?”

Barbara grabbed and dipped a second tender. Between bites, she replied, “I stopped that arms shipment Batman suspected, but a surprise guest crashed the party.”

Turning back to the Batcomputer, she saw that it had finished the download and awaited further input.

She sat in the high-backed chair. Barbara winced upon sitting. She’d landed hard on her side and hip after that explosion in the alley. Her Kevlar suit had insulated her from the brunt of the damage, but the kinetic energy of the blow pressed through.

Barbara would suffer an ache or two to remember the incident with the mysterious redhead. She’d press the pain aside.

Momma had work to do.

Using the touchpad and keyboard, she pulled up the video from her cowl on the main screen. She shuttled to near the end of the footage, which displayed a point-of-view of the night’s events. She stopped the footage on the image of her mystery redhead.

Using the program’s zooming capabilities, she narrowed the image down to a headshot of her target. The image became pixilated.

More taps on the keyboard directed the Batcomputer’s image processors to fill in the blanks. It morphed into a solid picture.

“There you are,” Barbara said as she studied the interloper. Besides the defining red hair (a darker shade than Barbara’s hair), the woman was Caucasian, with dark features and a determined stare through those cold green eyes.

“Not your usual style of criminal,” Alfred chimed in from behind Barbara.

She pulled up the Batcomputer’s facial recognition program and displayed its interface on another screen. “Not at all,” Barbara said. “More of a reason to identify her as quickly as possible.”

Barbara dragged the red-haired bomber’s image over to the facial recognition program’s screen. The program accepted the image, throwing up a query page listing a variety of databases to use to find a match.

The Batcomputer had access to pretty much any United States identity database she could consider. That was usually enough for cases dealing with Gotham City’s criminals. Sometimes they did need to go outside a national scope.

Using her hacking skills, Barbara had created backdoors into the databases of Interpol, Britain’s MI-6 and the Russian FSB.

The only place she hadn’t gotten into was SHIELD’s database. It wasn’t for lack of trying. SHIELD had some great cyber defenses. Hopefully, she wouldn’t have to challenge them tonight.

Barbara leaned back in the chair. She had no idea where this woman came from. Leaning forward again, she opted to use the usual channels and the three international options.

While the program worked the bomber angle, Barbara turned her attention back to her cowl’s footage on the main monitor. She scanned the footage of the Black gangbangers.

“I remembered those upstanding citizens from your surveillance a few nights ago,” Alfred said.

“The Heavy Playas,” Barbara said. “Work for the Black Mask.”

“Smuggling arms?”

Barbara worked the Batcomputer, stopping the footage on the lead Russian gangster. She zeroed in on his image.

“That is weird,” she said to Alfred. “Mask and Penguin have a deal that’s supposed to keep Mask out of the arms game. I wonder if Penguin knows about this.”

“I wonder if the Mask knows about this,” Alfred said.

Barbara tilted her head, eventually nodding. “Good point. May have to ask him.”

Opening the facial recognition program on another screen, Barbara dragged the Russian’s headshot over there and started the same process she’d done on the other screen.

Another screen flashed a message, alerting Barbara and Alfred about an incoming video call.

“The boss is checking in,” Barbara said.

To be continued… 

While writing this fanfiction, I used Green Ronin’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition RPG, to leave some things to chance. Check it out!

Like this fanfiction? Check out Mark’s original “Shadowdance” saga books!

Copyright Info

DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson.

Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.

The characters Iron Man, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Vanko, Black Widow and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics

The characters Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Batgirl/ Barbara Gordon, Black Mask, the Penguin/ Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, Renee Montoya, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Robin/ Dick Grayson, KGBeast and Bane are Copyright DC Comics

The character Juri Han is Copyright Capcom

None of the characters belong to me as this is fanfiction, done for fun, and as a creative exercise.

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